John Lewis diversifies with £500m residential venture

2nd December 2022 | Jack Oliver

The John Lewis Partnership has announced a joint venture with global investment company abrdn to deliver around 1,000 new homes.

The £500m deal will see buy-to-rent properties constructed in three communities, as John Lewis looks to build 10,000 homes over the next decade.

The deal will see additional development of John Lewis Partnership sites, including the redevelopment of a vacant warehouse in Reading and of Waitrose stores in Bromley and West Ealing.

The deal includes commitments to affordable housing and sustainability in line with the partnership’s 2035 net-zero pledge, and looks to create homes which will help provide a stable income for the group, John Lewis said.

According to Savills research, the build-to-rent property market is expected to double with 30k homes completed annually by 2026. A shortfall in rental homes is set to increase with the ending of the Government’s help to buy scheme ending. London alone has a shortfall of 75,000 rental properties, according to John Lewis.

Nina Bhatia, executive director for strategy and commercial development at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “Our partnership with abrdn is a major milestone in our ambition to create much-needed quality residential housing in our communities.”

“The move underlines our commitment to build on the strength of our brands to diversify beyond retail into areas where trust really matters”, she added.

Neil Slater, head of real assets, abrdn, added: “The critical lack of quality rental accommodation in the UK needs to be addressed”

John Lewis said it will continue to work with local authorities and expects to announce more details for West Ealing and Bromley in due course, before aiming to submit its first planning applications next year. A first public consultation for the Reading site is expected in 2023. 


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